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Netflix says new compression format will improve picture for HD viewers too

Netflix has attributed some of its impressive growth to its successful and critically acclaimed original show House of Cards. Netflix will now use the second season of the show as a vehicle for its efforts to provide customers with 4k resolution content.
 
Netflix says that the 4K programming will be offered through smart TV apps on next generation 4k TVs. Netflix's Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said in an interview with Stuff, "We're not naming specific manufacturers, but we have several of the major TV vendors who are going to be producing 4K capable TVs – they'll be announcing them at CES."
 
As for the possibility of 4K streaming content coming to next generation consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, don’t hold your breath.
 
Hunt added, "The new game consoles may eventually be 4K-capable. But the ability to take 4K out of the box and drop it into a separate television is lacking some standards and HDMI 2.0, and it's just a little premature. So we probably will see that, but right now we're talking about 4K Netflix built into the smart TV."

 
While some of us have a hard time streaming full HD resolution broadcasts thanks to slow broadband speeds around much of the U.S., Netflix is leaning on technology to allow owners of 4K TVs to stream the higher resolution format.
 
"We're pushing forward with new encoding technology – we'll be using H.265, which is colloquially known as HEVC, instead of AVC H.264," Hunt explains. "We think with that we're going to be delivering in the 10-16Mbps range – about 15Mbps is probably what we should think of."
 
The new compression format will allow a higher resolution picture without needing a major step up in bitrate. Hunt promises that people that don’t have 4K TVs will also see a benefit, noting, “We're pioneering HEVC, which is about twice as efficient as AVC. And so, when we start to see those HEVC decoders get real, and the encoders get more efficient, we're going to be able to recode all the HD content – and the standard-def content, for that matter – in HEVC. So people with a 2 Mbps DSL will be able to receive a better picture than they do today."

Sources: Stuff, Stuff



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h.265 support in PCs?
By DanNeely on 12/19/2013 2:35:52 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone know when dedicated h265 decode support will become available? I'd hope that next years IGPs and GPUs would have it; but haven't seen anything about it either way.

Until hardware decode is available, what level of CPU/GPU will be needed to do software decoding at 1080p/4k?




RE: h.265 support in PCs?
By Mitch101 on 12/19/2013 4:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 but I haven't seen set top boxes capable of using h.265 yet. Of the software decoders Ive seen one specify an Intel I7 is required.


RE: h.265 support in PCs?
By jihadjoe on 12/21/2013 4:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Broadcom's BCM7445 has been out since January.


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